Chronic Pain Syndrome – the nonstop painMay 17, 2021 2021-10-11 8:24
Chronic Pain Syndrome – the nonstop pain
Chronic Pain Syndrome - the nonstop pain
Last updated date : August 17, 2021
Table of Contents
Chronic Pain Syndrome – The nonstop pain
We have all experienced bodily pain. They can be everlasting pain or sudden pain that has you jolting. Pain that is sudden and catches you by surprise are important notices for you. They may act as important messengers to let you know that your body needs medical attention. Chronic pain is not an easy situation to be rid of.
This article is a one-stop place to identify the types of chronic pain, its causes, symptoms, and most importantly what is necessary to be done to reduce or eliminate the pain.
Pain - simply explained
Pain is an uncomfortable sensation. Similarly, it varies in severity and cause, and types. Pain may take place based on how individuals experience pain and react to it differently. On top of that, almost any physical or mental damage done to a person can create pain. Thus, almost all of us have experienced this extremely common sensation.
What is Chronic pain?
Pain is a natural way of signaling you that there is something wrong with your body. Naturally, pain lessens with the healing process of the injury. However, as opposed to the pain that suddenly occurs, or lasts due to a reason, chronic pain is a condition that will haunt one’s life long after the muscle damages have been repaired. The body will continue to send pain signals to your brain for no apparent reason. This situation could last for weeks or even years. In addition, the pain signals sent by the brain may be harsh for no reason.
Continuous pain with no cause can have a severe toll on a person’s life. It may affect mobility, focus, decision making, and overall comfort of life. It is also a very common situation, affecting at least 1 in 5 of all people. Some believe that those affected with chronic pain have a faulty nerve system when it comes to handling stress.
Some of the most common types of chronic pain include headaches, post-trauma pain, pains after surgery, back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and nerve damage pain.
Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain
Acute pain is the sharp alarming pain that springs out all of a sudden. The causes of these acute pains are specific. They do not tend to last for over six months. Treating the underlying causes will make the pain goes away. Some of these causes involve breaking a bone, surgery, cut, burns, labor, or dental work.
Chronic pain lasts for longer than six weeks. The pain continues even after the initial injury. Some may suffer from chronic pain even when there have been no past injuries or causes.
What are the causes of chronic pain?
Doctors aren’t sure why chronic pain happens. However, in most cases, chronic pain has an initial reason. Chronic pain takes place because, after nerve damage, continuous pain signals are sent to the brain regardless of the injury healing. At most times, these injuries are caused physically.
However, chronic pain can take place without any prior reason. These can be caused due to underlying health conditions. It may also involve issues with mental health.
Below are a few of the most common causes of chronic pain.
Post-op chronic pain is one of the most common and serious complications after surgery. This issue may be caused due to reduced mobility or activities after surgery, the effect surgery has on the quality of life, and the increased utilization of health care. However, The issue of post-op chronic pain is not limited to major surgeries. In other words, surgical techniques influencing the nervous system are one of the major reasons behind post-op chronic pain.
Long after a past injury, and long after the healing of the damaged muscles, your brain may still receive pain signals from your nerves. Take this as a malfunctioning alarm that’s based on an event that’s been over a long time ago. However, this may cause lasting chronic pain without an existing reason. This may also take place due to nerve damage that may have happened when you injured yourself.
The most common joint problem causing chronic pain is Arthritis. Joints are what connect bones. In other words, any damage caused to the joins will have you in pain and make it difficult to get about. Straining and straining your joints can lead to this situation.
These pains can be mildly irritating to extremely painful. Above all, they tend to last a long time.
Lots of things can be wrong inside your head. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these wrong things can develop to be extremely dangerous. Therefore, the pain can be everlasting. In other words, it is unlikely you will ever get a clear head and ability to focus without having to suffer.
Migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headaches are painful. Thus, the victim is likely to experience a continuous pounding in the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Chronic pain tends to continue for a long time. That can happen even after these extreme symptoms are treated. Things may not be as bad, but you may still wake up with an aching head.
Cancer related pain can be acute or chronic.
Chronic pain of cancer can be due to the nerve damage caused. When cancer presses on nerves due to the chemicals produced by the tumor, nerve damage happens. The pain can continue long after treatment and healing. It may also become severe at times but will last all the time.
Are you at risk of chronic pain?
Chronic pain is a common issue among all ages. But, individuals with the signs below are more likely to attract chronic pain.
- have had a recent injury
- had a surgery
- female (chronic pain mostly affects women)
Symptoms to look out for
Chronic pain may be mild, or severe enough to have you lying in the bed all day. Here are a few symptoms you can identify before things get out of control.
- Extremely lethargic and not wanting to be active.
- Dull pain
- Throbbing/pulling pain
- No appetite
- Mood swings
- Severe lack of energy
- Soreness/stiffness of muscles
It is important to remember that chronic pain symptoms change according to the underlying cause.
Diagnosing chronic pain
In the case an individual is experiencing pains that have been constant for the past 6 weeks, and seem to appear for no reason, they may be suffering due to a chronic pain condition.
For a diagnosis, you should meet your healthcare provider. Make sure to take a list of medications you are using so it helps the doctor identify any underlying illnesses. Below are some of the questions they may ask in order to identify the issue and provide the necessary treatment.
- Since when have you been experiencing pain?
- How severe does the pain get?
- What makes the pain better or bearable?
- Is there a reason that may cause these pains?
- Does anywhere else on your body hurt?
- What kind of pain do you feel?
- Have you had treatment before?
In addition, below are a few questions you can ask your doctor to make facts clear for yourself.
- Why am I in pain?
- Is it likely to go away?
- (if prescribed) What kind of side effects will the medication have on me?
- Can therapy help in my case?
- How can I relieve the pain?
- What should I do in case it gets worse?
- For how long should I take this treatment?
- When should I come back for a checkup?
Your doctor may also order C.T. scans or M.R.I. to determine if any underlying illnesses are causing chronic pain. Blood tests may also help. Nerve conduction studies may be done to examine your nerves. Other tests may include urine tests, balance tests, X-rays, etc.
Treatment for chronic pain
It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and follow through with the medical plan recommended by the doctors. These pain management plans are created based on each individual’s symptoms, severity, and causes. Therefore, if any meds or doses are changed, it is highly important to receive the doctor’s approval first.
If your discomfort is caused by an event such as arthritis, you can reach out to a specialist for extended treatment. However, most chronic pain treatments look for reduced pain and boosted activity.
There are a few treatment methods that a patient will be put through. Those include medical procedures such as physical therapy using heat or cold, spinal cord stimulation, nerve block, pain medicine, counseling, or surgery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also used on patients with chronic pain issues. It is a counseling method that helps people cope with their pain. Any sort of therapy is mostly used when the cause for the pain cannot be identified. This also includes counseling. Occupational therapy will help victims to engage in daily activities in ways that cause minimum pain. Physical therapy will help them engage in exercises and build daily activity habits to cope with the pain.
Other treatment options for chronic pain patients include,
- Stress reduction
Do talk to your doctor about these options in order to receive guidance on what is best for you
How can I help myself with chronic pain?
Chronic pain only makes life harder. There comes a time that one does not have the energy to meet a doctor.
Even though chronic pain is unlikely to be cured, there are still things that can be done to reduce the pain. Below are a few strategies that are meant to be of help.
Do not push yourself too hard
You are in pain. It is okay to not be able to do 100% of the things you used to. Try to stick to a plan and get the well-deserved rest. Trying too hard will only make the situation worse. Physically and emotionally.
Stick to a balanced diet
It is important to keep up with the energy level your body requires, especially under the stress a chronic pain patient is. Make sure you have those vegetables, fruits, and enough protein on your plate, and a lot of water in your cup.
Get enough sleep
The medication and physical strain you are under will undoubtedly exhaust you. Not to mention, the continuous pain. Your body and mind need the rest of a good night’s sleep.
Stay as active as possible
So much as sitting up may be hard when you’re experiencing chronic pain, but being immobile only makes the situation worse. In addition to engaging in daily activities, try to get in some home exercise.
Limit Alcohol/ Smoking
Your body needs attention. Listen to its needs at this critical time. Be aware of what goes in it. The goal is to get better.
Try to relax
Do what it takes to keep you happy and motivated. Join a support group, so you can learn from their experiences. Try breathing in or slow counting when the pain gets hard. Remind yourself that you are trying. Your body is trying, and that no one is going to give up. Look back at the long way you have come. Be proud of what you have overcome.
Engage in yoga/dancing
Try a fun way to keep you active. Yoga can be a very healthy way of staying busy. It is a specially designed exercise to benefit your muscles and bones. Put on your favorite music and dance around, when you feel down. Make sure to remember that it is a good life, just a little hard at times.
If you are a pet lover, your pain is about to disappear with this plan. Adopt, foster, or visit your favorite animal. Make it two or three. Help them relieve their pain while having them help you, with yours. Pets can be a great way of relaxing. Not everyone is lucky enough to develop that bond and love with pets.
Get yourself massaged
You can hire help to massage you when you need it. Chronic pain can become severe without warning. Help that is advised on how best to serve you will be a good investment to relieve your pain.
Curing/preventing chronic pain
Unfortunately, chronic pain is hardly likely to be cured, if the exact cause isn’t found. Victims are likely to experience pain their whole life. However, pain reduction methods are extremely effective. Experts are working on cures, with more tests and experiments.
There are things you can do to prevent chronic pain from becoming life-altering. However, it is hard to prevent it from taking place. Times that chronic pain takes place for no reason, are not uncommon. Therefore, it is wise to look out for early-stage symptoms and have them dealt with while you still can.